Solid writing advice from Sounding Sea Co-Founder Tracy Gold
Baltimore business woman and writing guru Tracy Gold is one of the four Co-Founders of Sounding Sea, a new Baltimore company that solves the problem of people wanting to learn how to be better writers who may not have time to take the conventional route and go back to school.
We recently featured Tracy in honor of the start up of her business. To view her Q&A click here. In catching up with her we asked Tracy, who is also teaches writing at the University of Baltimore to share her top tips for how to be a better writer, see below.
4 pieces of advice useful for anyone aspiring to be a better writer
#1 Read like a writer.
“Read a lot” is standard advice for beginning writers, and it is good advice, but it’s incomplete. For your reading to help you grow as a writer, you have to look at what you’re reading for the “how,” not just the “what.” Read once for pleasure, and reread as a writer. On your reread, look for why the writing worked or didn’t work. For fiction writers, you can find some tools for reading as a writer through Christine Frazier’s Better Novel Project, which is all about deconstructing popular novels. Read widely, read deeply, and reread.
#2 View writing as a process.
Lots of beginning writers think that if something doesn’t come out perfectly on the first go, either it’s crap, or they’re crap writers. Anne Lamott has a great piece called “Shitty First Drafts” from her book on writing. All great writing starts out as a terrible first draft. It’s what you do after the first draft that counts.
#3 Exercise your writing muscles.
Writing is like a sport. If you don’t practice, you’ll never get better. It doesn’t particularly matter what you write–it could be a blog post for work, freewriting in your journal–but you have to keep those muscles working.
#4 Get feedback.
No one becomes a great writer in a vacuum. It’s hard to see your own strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes the people who love you think you’re so great they will automatically think your writing is great, too. Find someone you trust who’s not related to you to trade writing with. You might learn from their strengths and weaknesses, too.
About Tracy Gold, the Co-Founder of Sounding Sea
Tracy Gold is a cofounder of Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop, which provides writing classes and coaching. Tracy also helps tech startups with marketing strategy, content creation, and social media. Tracy’s stories, poems, and essays are published or forthcoming in several journals and anthologies. Tracy is an M.F.A. candidate in Fiction and writing instructor at The University of Baltimore, and an alumna of Duke University. Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn or @tracycgold on Twitter. To view Tracy’s Q&A with MyCity4HER.com click here.